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Asia Morning: Largest Reduction in US Private Jobs

On Wednesday U.S. stocks closed mixed as data showed the biggest reduction in private jobs on record.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated 218 points (-0.9%) to 23,664, the S&P 500 fell 20 points (-0.7%) to 2,848, while the Nasdaq 100 rose 54 points (+0.6%) to 8,984.

Source: GAIN Capital, TradingView

Semiconductors & Semiconductor Equipment (+0.99%), Technology Hardware & Equipment (+0.69%) and Retailing (+0.64%) sectors were market leaders.

On the other hand, Insurance (-3.73%), Utilities (-3.51%) and Energy (-2.63%) sectors were laggards.

FLIR Systems (FLIR +9.6%), Activision Blizzard (ATVI +6.3%) and DaVita (DVA +4.4%) were top gainers, while Occidental Petroleum (OXY -12.5%), Cincinnati Financial (CINF -10.0%) and Mosaic (MOS -8.3%) lost the most.

On the technical side, about 24.80% (22.8% in the prior session) of stocks in the S&P 500 Index were trading above their 200-day moving average, and 57.4% (54.3% in the prior session) were above their 20-day moving average.

In after-market hours, PayPal (PYPL) jumped 8.2% and LYFT (LYFT) surged 16.8%

Regarding U.S. economic data, the Automatic Data Processing (ADP) employment report showed that the number of private jobs plummeted by 20.236 million in April, the largest monthly loss in the survey's history, and worse than a reduction of 834,665 in February 2009 during the global financial crisis. 

Later today, the U.S. Labor Department will report Initial Jobless Claims for the week ended May 2 (3.000 million expected).

European stocks lacked upward momentum, with the Stoxx Europe 600 Index easing 0.4%. Germany's DAX dropped 1.2%, France's CAC declined 1.1%, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 edged up less than 0.1%.

U.S. Treasury prices dropped further, as the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield advanced to 0.713% from 0.652% Tuesday. The Treasury Department announced plans to increase the size of its longer-term bond auctions, and to sell $20 billion of its new 20-year bond.  

Spot gold price slid 20 dollars or 1.2% to $1,685 an ounce, ending a three-session rally.

Oil prices saw their rally pause. U.S. WTI crude oil futures (June) slipped 2.3% to $23.99 a barrel, and Brent crude oil futures lost 4.0% to $29.72 a barrel. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported a build of 4.6 million barrels in crude-oil stockpiles last week, less than an addition of 7.4 million barrels expected.

On the forex front, the ICE U.S. Dollar Index advanced 0.4% on day to 100.21, posting a three-day rally.

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